One of my puzzling mates dropped by to visit for a few days with his family and rather generously gave me a copy of this neat little “Escape Room in a Box” made by iDventure.
They’re made of many, many little pieces of laser-cut plywood, and frankly, given the amount of work that must go into making these little guys, they’re very reasonably priced. The packaging has a neat steampunk design and it makes for a nice-looking puzzle – it’s fully replayable with nothing getting destroyed along the way… or it shouldn’t be if you’re doing it right!
Faced with the locked up starting position, there are certainly lots of things worthy of inspection – several things will move, and even more of them appear to be locked up at the moment – exploring each side of the cube is interesting and rewarding and there quite a few things that appear to make no sense whatsoever.
There is a proper order for solving things around the box, and there are plenty of clues to make sure that you follow things in the right order, as trying to solve them out of order results in a lot of frustration and attempts at applying lock-picking skills – don’t be that guy.
Once you’ve found an appropriate place to start the journey, you’ll find yourself faced with a series of mechanical puzzles, encoded messages and observation tests. Some things really don’t make sense until a little nugget of new information appears and all of a sardine a whole series of things will fall into place allowing you proceed to the next layer of the puzzle.
For a cute little mass-market puzzle it will definitely give people who consider themselves to be real puzzlists enough of a challenge to put a smile on their faces. Given the wider attraction of escape room games around the globe, this little guy might even help more people to find a way into our little hobby… give it a try and then pass it around to your friends.